I'm doing a work exchange for some people that own a 2 year old gelding that is pretty aggressive. They want me to work with him on basic ground manners, and make him safe. The colt has actually chased both owners out of his pen, as well as bit them, reared up, and kicked at them. They tried to fix this problem by feeding him lots of treats, and now none of them handle him because of this problem. I took him and put him in a round pen yesterday for the first time. I'm just trying to get the basic concept of him moving away from me when asked and respecting my space. This was met with a LOT of aggression, he turned around and started backing at me kicking, and then turned and faced me to charge, which I deflected with a lunge whip. I feel unsure of what to do because he is so young. I feel like if I go after him like I would a mature horse, I would lose his trust completely, but at the same time he is pretty dangerous and I don't want to get hurt.
I would like to hear about some of the experiences you guys have had with horses that are aggressive towards people so I can try out some different things. I would like to do more bonding activities with him, but I can barely pet him without him trying to bite or show dominance over me. Any ideas would be awesome!